Sony's head of PR, sponsorship and social says coming together with Red Bull was 'an obvious collaboration'
When Sony’s action-packed Xperia spot for Spectre crashed on to screens in September, it was clear the brand was looking to a thrilling experience for fans.
Set against the backdrop of London and directed by Bond title sequence designer Danny Kleinman, the action-heavy film featured explosions and an adrenaline-filled chase, and if the marketer's latest ad is anything to go by it looks like we can expect similar content in the coming year.
Sony recently partnered with Red Bull Media House and Ridley Scott Associates on a series of short films starring BMX rider Kriss Kyle.
Titled ‘Kaleidoscope’, the creative showed Kyle using the company's Xperia Z5 Premium model (the world’s first 4K smartphone) to film close-up shots as he attempted to smash five world-first tricks.
Speaking exclusively to The Drum, Sony Mobile’s head of PR, sponsorship and social Matt Beavis, said the choice to partner with Red Bull was “an obvious collaboration in terms of synergies” between the pair.
“This isn’t a rejection of traditional media partnerships,” he commented. “Red Bull Media House is well known for shooting breathtaking films that push the boundaries of both sport and film.
“We knew that they could create a high-octane film like no one else,” he added.
The colourful shorts invited viewers to ‘see things differently’ and took 18 months to construct. Kyle is shown riding up, down and along an assault course, which included optical illusion elements.
Shot in a makeshift skate park inside a Glasgow warehouse, filming with a smartphone allowed the crew to capture awkward angles and overcome the challenges of the physical location; while a special ‘behind the scenes’ film gave viewers a preview of the setup.
Red Bull is well-known for its daring exploits and has built up an extreme sports following through sponsorship deals, its ownership of an F1 team and stunts such as the Stratos space jump. Beavis said that these kind of “awe-inspiring” clips were an ideal way to demo Sony’s technology.
“We are always looking for both innovation and offering the most exciting experiences. We don’t consider this film niche,” he said. “Adrenaline has a very broad appeal.”
While he remained tight lipped on whether Sony intends to expand the deal beyond BMX and create content around other extreme sports, Beavis did note that “unique partnerships” are a big part of what the brand does.
‘Danny MacAskill's Imaginate’, which was created by Red Bull in 2013 has clocked up 44m views on YouTube thus far, but Beavis claimed that the success of ‘Kaleidoscope will be measured on a number of factors, as the brand works with Red Bull Media House to monitor how people are responding to the content.
“Views and engagement are important but also non-traditional indicators of success, such as Kyle’s ‘wow’ reaction when he played the footage back for the first time," he asserted.
The content-led campaign has its own Red Bull microsite, which offers users the opportunity to interact with the course and tricks, and comprises an OOH push with imagery shown in 1650 national retail stores.